by Ben Johnson and John Perazzo
Americans are a resilient lot. The attacks of September 11th showed, despite progressive urbanization and isolation, Americans pull together when under attack. Those of all political, economic, racial, and religious backgrounds renewed their commitment to the United States and to their fellow countrymen – and their resolve to stand against their common enemies. However, even in this changed environment, some side with the enemy – while the enemy is killing American citizens. These 10 people, presented in no particular order, deserve the title “the most dishonorable Americans.”
1. Brian Becker: Becker is co-director of the New York-based International Action Center (IAC), founded by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark to provide “information, activism, and resistance to U.S. militarism, war, and corporate greed.” In November 2001 Becker called America’s Afghanistan campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda “one of the great crimes and acts of terrorism” in modern times. By “rashly hit[ting] out at poverty-stricken and weak Afghanistan,” he said, America was conducting “not simply a defensive war” but a strategy of expansion in the Middle East. Becker deems the 9/11 attacks a natural, retaliatory consequence of “imperialist” and “oppressive” American policies. He is a principal organizer of the massive antiwar protests conducted by the ANSWER coalition, whose close ties with the socialist Workers World Party are well known.
2. Michael Moore: Filmmaker Michael Moore is similarly critical of his countrymen. “I believe our mentality as Americans is to shoot first and ask questions later,” he says. “We just…go for the gun in a way that no other country does…The guy who’s sitting in the Oval Office tonight. He wants to bomb [Iraq]. We don’t need any more inspections, let’s just bomb them and we’ll find out later if they have the weapons. That’s the American way.” “Of course,” says Moore, “we all know it’s not about weapons of mass destruction, it’s weapons of mass distraction, you know, so that Bush can get our minds off the economy and what’s really going on because there’s an election coming up…You know that Bush is lying through his smirk when he says Iraq has ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ He has not offered one shred of evidence to prove this.” Like so many of his ilk, Moore is content to cast Bush as less trustworthy than the Iraqi dictator, who recently passed a law making even the most trifling criticism of his regime punishable by having the offender’s tongue cut out.
3. Danny Glover: Also joining the chorus of affluent America-haters is actor Danny Glover, who, while attending last year’s International Festival of New Latin American Film in Cuba, condemned U.S. sanctions and threats of a war against Iraq. “Our government has declared itself an uncontested empire,” Glover said, agreeing with Harry Belafonte’s assertion that the Bush administration seeks only “to extend its imperialist, economic and political domination all over the planet.” “My position on the war is very clear,” says Glover, “above all for the impact that it will have on women and children in Iraq who are already suffering the consequences of sanctions.” He does not mention that the sanctions are in place for one reason alone: Saddam’s utter refusal to comply with the terms to which he agreed following the Gulf War. At the February 15 “peace” rally in New York, Glover had nothing negative to say about Saddam, while he condemned President Bush and “his administration of liars and murderers.”
4. John Walker Lindh: The “American Taliban” soldier captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan says his “heart became attached” to the Taliban while he studied Islam at a Pakistani madrassah. He later received military training at an al-Qaeda camp where he personally met Osama bin Laden, who thanked him “for taking part in jihad.” By Walker’s own admission, he was told by al-Qaeda members that twenty teams of fellow terrorists had been sent to attack the United States and Israel. On the eve of the U.S. invasion in Afghanistan, Lindh presented himself to a Taliban recruitment center as “a Muslim who wants to go to the front lines to fight.” Yet the day he was sentenced to a 20-year prison term by a U.S. District judge, the bold Muslim warrior suddenly turned meek, telling the court that if he had known of the Taliban’s close ties to terrorists like bin Laden, he would never have joined it. “I have never supported terrorism in any form and never would,” said the man whose non-cooperation with American CIA agent John Spann led to Spann’s murder at the hands of some escaped al-Qaeda savages.
5. Oliver Stone: Last year, paranoid movie director Oliver Stone joined hundreds of prominent people in the arts and academia who signed a public “Statement of Conscience” drafted by the group Not in Our Name. The signatories promised “to resist the [U.S.] policies…which pose grave dangers to the people of the world,” and pledged alliance with those who come under attack. The reference, of course, was not to Americans under attack, but to the sworn enemies of our nation who are feverishly plotting our destruction. According to Stone, the 9/11 mass murders were not caused by the hate-filled hearts of bigoted Islamic madmen, but by large American movie-making corporations. “They control culture,” he said of the corporations. “They control ideas. And I think the revolt of September 11th was about ‘F– you! F– your order.’ ” He goes so far as to accuse the US government of having purposely allowed bin Laden to escape unharmed while pretending to be hot on his trail. “Bin Laden,” says Stone, “was completely protected by the oil companies in this country who told [President] Bush not to go after him because it would piss off the Saudis.”
6. Rep. James McDermott, D-WA: He may be a U.S. Representative, but one could argue whether Jim McDermott is “honorable” after becoming a willing accomplice in Saddam Hussein’s international propaganda war. Just after the anniversary of 9/11, McDermott set off for Iraq with fellow Congressmen David Bonior, D-MI, and Mike Thompson, D-CA, and concluded President George W. Bush is a liar. “I think the president would mislead the American people,” he thundered. After all, maniac-in-chief Bush is “trying to provoke a war.” However, the jaded McDermott had not lost faith in all of humanity. “I think you have to take the Iraqis on their face value,” chirped the credulous Congressman. McDermott claims Tariq Aziz and other Iraqi officials “said they would allow us to go look anywhere we wanted”; evidently, Hans Blix didn’t get the memo. For honoring the word of a maniacal dictator over that of President Bush, the U.S. intelligence establishment and 12 years of UN consensus, McDermott & co. garnered the title “spokespeople for the Iraqi government” from the always-perceptive Senator Don Nickles. We concur.
7. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA: The elected representative of the Peoples Republic of Berkeley, Barbara Lee cast the lone vote against authorizing President Bush to fight al-Qaeda. Speaking on the House floor hours three days after the al-Qaeda terrorists claimed thousands of American lives, Lee feared President Bush really wanted to “embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target.” Although she said the American response to the tragedy had to be “multifaceted,” apparently military action was not a facet she considered in the deterrence of terrorism. She had previously cast the lone vote against a resolution expressing support of the troops already fighting in Serbia. Despite having supported the creation of a “Department of Peace,” she has consistently stated, “I am not a pacifist” – which, if true, is frightening. Perhaps a clue into her opposition to American soldiers, Lee served nine years on the staff of her predecessor, Rep. Ron Dellums. In 1983, Lee conducted a misguided “fact-finding” mission to the pro-Soviet regime of Grenada, later submitting a propaganda “report” to Congress doctored by the Grenedan dictator himself. A letter written by another Dellums staffer to said dictator – discovered during a raid by U.S. troops – revealed that besides the Grenadan strongman, “The only other person that I know of that [Dellums] expresses such admiration for is Fidel [Castro].” Lee ultimately rose to become Dellums’ Chief-of-Staff. Her own admiration of “Fidel” manifest itself shortly after her election to Congress in 1998, when she led another delegation, this one to Cuba itself. She capped off the journey by calling on President Clinton to end the U.S. boycott of Cuba. Apparently, she cannot bring herself to support U.S. servicemen currently in action in Serbia and cannot support striking a terrorist network’s key sponsor-state in self-defense, but she feels compassion for a murderous Communist dictator.
8. Stanley Cohen: A sidekick to ‘60s fifth columnist William Kunstler at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Stanley Cohen has nearly managed to dig up a more reprehensible clientele than his mentor. Turning reality on its head, Cohen sued George W. Bush, Colin Powell and the Israeli government for committing or abetting “war crimes” – against Hamas and Hezbollah! Both groups are listed by Powell’s State Department as terrorist organizations. Cohen, along with Lynne Stewart, represented a militant Muslim charged with torching a New York synagogue. (He also represented cop-killer and leftist icon Mumia Abu-Jamal.) He went on record as saying confessed traitor John Walker Lindh, “the American Taliban,” was innocent. All of this would be less troubling if he did not seem to live vicariously through his clients. Cohen, a regular on the mosque speaking circuit, represents cop killers, Jew-haters and terrorist organizations, so it is no less than chillingly when he pronounces, “Look, if I don’t support the politics of political clients, I don’t take the case.” Joel L. Blumenfeld, a Supreme Court Justice in New York who supervised Cohen when both worked at the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, once quipped, “If this were Pearl Harbor, he would be representing the Japanese.” That more than earns him a slot on this top 10 list. (For the whole story on Stanley Cohen, read The Hate America Left, edited by David Horowitz and Jamie Glazov.)
9. Lynne Stewart: Cohen’s sidekick at the CCR, Lynne Stewart has a long track record of defending terrorists and voicing support for violence. “I don’t believe in anarchistic violence, but directed violence,” she said. “Directed violence,” she clarified, would be “violence directed against the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, and sexism, and the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions.” And apparently, this counselor has crossed the line of mere sympathy with terrorism. Stewart has been jailed for complicity in terrorism for her actions on behalf of client Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman. Rahman is the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Attorney General John Ashcroft has charged that after speaking with the blind Sheikh, Stewart conveyed a message from the terrorist to his followers. If Stanley Cohen lives through terrorists, Stewart makes sure terrorists live through her. (The Hate America Left also has a chapter dedicated to Stewart.)
10. Leslie Cagan: The leader of the February 15 “stationary march” (New York City decreed they must remain stationary), Cagan has a long history as a Communist. Currently the head of “United for Peace and Justice,” Cagan shills that the War on Terrorism is only about oil. Why the U.S. would spend billions of dollars more than any potential savings derived from an Iraqi regime change she has not let us know. However, she has disclosed her hatred of the United States. While vacationing in Communist Cuba, she gushed over the “workers paradise” and fumed about the killing of Black Panther terrorists in the United States. She writes the deaths were “a shocking reminder of the brutality and power of the U.S. government, and there we were in Cuba, a whole nation under attack from the U.S.” She now hopes to aid another American enemy. Indeed, Saddam Hussein was reportedly overjoyed at the “peace” marches for which she is in large part responsible; hence, her inclusion on this list.
Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine. John Perazzo is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared as the lead story on Monday, March 3, 2003, on FrontPage Magazine.